Over(under?)whelmed

Yesterday, I was sitting in my haven of a bedroom, on my bed, in tears. It was likely the heat. Or the perpetual jackhammering of the construction. Or the revving of the motorcycles across the way. Or the children screaming at the school next door. Whatever combination of those things it may have also been about, it was definitely about the work.

I get overwhelmed sometimes by work, all the while being underwhelmed by how much it all feels as frantic as work back “home.” Sometimes I can laugh it off, but other times it all just feels like too much. Nothing is easy. It all takes more time than expected, and there are more tasks on my workload than I ever could have imagined. I’m trying to find and interview interpreters to interpret for the class since “my” interpreter isn’t available any more. I’m trying to assuage the fears of greenhorn instructors and interpreters who have hearts of gold but need guidance and reassurance at every turn. I’m trying to generate content for my own sections that is engaging and culturally sensitive in a context that seems to trip me up at every turn. I’m trying to tread lightly in so many work-related political arenas that I feel like I need some goddamn ballet slippers. Stat.

After I unloaded heartily to J about what was going on in the newest turns of events, he replied (after some very kind assurances that I likely wasn’t going crazy), “What happens if by chance things just don’t go perfectly or terribly well?”

Well, shit. Thanks for the reframe.

Worst case scenario? Literal, absolute worst case scenario? I walk away in a little over two months with a bit of a bruised ego and a failure under my belt. But not even a colossal failure. A beautiful failure from which a lot can be learned, paving the path a bit for the next person who decides to walk it.

Also included in that scenario? Personally, I still walk away with an experience that could never be duplicated. With the experience of practicing defining boundaries with my time and my energy. The experience of living and working abroad in Cambodia. Of meeting incredible local people and people from around the world that have opened my eyes to a new “normal.”

Did I mention that this is still worst case scenario I’m talking about?

And today it rained, which seemed to cool everything down.

7 thoughts on “Over(under?)whelmed”

  1. Some days are like that. But as you said, even with your worst case there are things to be learned and experiences to be had. Plus, the photos I have seen from the intro course show there is whole lot of learning going on and the class seems to enjoying it too! Love to you!

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  2. I can’t tell you how many days and nights I’ve spent crying while living abroad. It’s exhausting, terrifying, bewildering and it breaks you. Often. But it’s worth every tear and more because when it breaks you, it remakes you into something far more wonderful than you could imagine. Cry your damn heart out. Now go back and read your worst case scenario. It’s clear that you love it. You will make it work. You can do this.

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  3. One day you’ll look back on this and say “wow, look how strong I was” even though at the time you felt really weak. Life’s funny that way. Love hearing about your adventures. Miss seeing you. Do you need to sing “Eddie Cootchy, Sama Cammy? That always lightens things up

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    1. It is funny when you look back in things, isn’t it? And this will all also feel like it wasn’t such a big deal as I’m making it, undoubtedly. YES! I just need to sing Eddie Cootchy and do the dance that accompanies it! 😂 Man, I miss laughing with you… ♥️

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